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He refused to be guided by the dictates of expediency
and was, in consequence, no match for his adroit and in-
trigjiing rival Muavia, who would stoop to the lowest and
most criminal means to gain his purpose. At the same
time he was narrow, with a vein of indecision which at
times gave place to obstinacy. His rigid insistence on
honesty in accounts was much resented by the greedy
Arabs who plundered the empire. But his perfect integrity
and devotion to high ideals, combined with his simplicity
and unassuming manners, make him a most attractive
figure, and the people of Persia have chosen wisely in
making him what we may term their Patron Saint, though,
indeed, he is much more than that.
Some of his aphorisms are : <c A liberal education is
better than gold," to which was added, "No learning
availeth if common sense goeth not with it" ; " The
wealth of a wise man is in his wisdom, and the wealth of
a fool is in his possessions " ; ." No .words are good unless
good deeds go with them.*' *" '' x*' .
The Position of Persia*" Hellenism," says Naldeke,
"never touched more thaiilthe surface of Persian life, but
Iran was penetrated to did core by Arabian religion and
Arabian ways." This weighty ...spying should be constantly
borne in mind in considering' the consequences of the
conquest of Persia by the Arabs, for it is the key to the
whole situation. After the battle of Nahavand Persian
resistance to the Arabs was merely local and the country
was subdued without any great difficulty, although a
general insurrection broke out upon the death of Omar
and there were occasional risings during the Caliphate of
AH. The Zoroastrians were not offered the choice
between Islam and the sword, as is generally supposed,
but were permitted to retain their religion on the payment
of a poll-tax. Salman, who has already been mentioned
as fortifying Medina against the Kureish, was the earliest
Persian convert, and was numbered among the " Com-
panions" of the Prophet. His example was followed
later on by thousands, among whom was a body'of
Daylamite soldiers who embraced Islam and settled at
Kufa. But even conversion brought no true equality,